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|Friday, June 4th, 2004|
A big update of past 2 weeks i didn't write.
I had quite a nice time in gangtok after all. Been to zoo, buddist temples and monasteries, had a walk (in the rain), been sucked by leeches (while in the walk) and more.
Thanks to all the nice people who remembered that I had birthday on 27/5. I was bit sad (to say the least) to be so far away from my family and friends on my birthday but it worked out just great.
I was staying in dormitory room in gangtok and on the night before the birthday the people that were in the room spontaneously celebrated my birthday with Darjeeling tea and cheese with biscuits (first time i ate cheese since i left) and candles!! It was really heartwaming. Thanks to everyone wo participated!
The next day I had a trip with some guys to Tsomgo lake that's located on the mountain on the height of almost 4km! It was very
beautiful there and very
The next day I left for Kalinpong with very crazy Australian guy with extremely terrible australian accent. It was so funny to hear his english and understand only half of the things he said... After a while i got used to this though....
Kalimpong is a small city on the hills, eastern to Darjeeling. There's nothing much to do there other than just relax , do some sight seeing and meet interesting people. The guest house was one of the best until now so it was easy not to do anything particular and enjoy a very good book about Calcutta called "City Of Joy" (highly recommended).
After 3 days I and Luke (the australian guy) left to a really tiny town called lava, with great views, big buddist monastery and beautiful forrest with huge trees and feeling of being in jungle.
After 2 days I and Luke split, he was to lazy to move and I had enough of Lava. So i took the backpack and went for a walk to another village called Loleygaon. After walking for 15 km i hitchhiked a jeep and arrived. Loleygaon is really tiny. Just one small street and alot of noisy Indian tourists. I had a really nice time here, been to another beautiful alpine forrest, did small walks around the place and mostly ate alot of momos (tibetian dumplings aka "kisonim" aka " pelmeni") and drank alot of tea.
|Monday, May 24th, 2004|
Yesterday I arrived to Gangtok, another city on the mountain. There supposed to be really great views from here. Too bad it's raining almost all the time, and it's really disappointing, it should be magical place.
Don't ask me how I feel, just look the weather forecast, if it's not raining everything's great if it is raining it's differerent.
|Saturday, May 22nd, 2004|
|Still in Darjeelin!
I planned to move to Gangtok 2 days ago, but the day before that I met really nice girl from Kolkata, she's working there nd now on vacation in Sikkim and Darjeeling. She's really smart, funny and just great to be with.. The best company i had for a loong time!
We went to the places I already visited before , so i was like a guide, it was fun! And the rain is not so annoying now! (It's raining almost all the day!)
Now that i have such a great company I'm now in kinda resort, doing almost nothing, going to cafe every day, having beer and tea :)
Too bad she's leaving tomorrow........
Tomorrow I'm finally going to Gangtok, Sikkim. Hope it'd be not so rainy there. (Yeah sure!)
|Wednesday, May 19th, 2004|
|Rain.... Rain all the time
In the past few days I tried to have as much fun as possible eventhough it's very cloudy here, so not much af the beautiful view, and even worse monsoon started couple of weeks earlier this year so it's raining most of the time. Very wet...But.
I had a really nice walk with Sameer (the nepali guy from Bombay i met) and his brother to a town nearby, saw really beautiful buddist monastery and alot of clouds.
Later met guy from Bhutan (it's tiny countly between China and India), net his friends, really nice people. They're studying here in Darjeeling.
The next day i kinda took day off, woke up at 12, read a book (City Of Joy - about Calcuta) then the skies suddenly cleared so I had a very pleasant walk with amazing views. I don't know what's better , not to see the views at all or to see it for couple of hours and then get the clouds again. Now, After briefly seeing the mountains i know what I'm missing.
Yesterday I went to tea garden, to see how the tea is produced. Darjeeling is world known producer of very high quality teas. And there IS difference between teas. I tasted it myself! Even bought 100gms to relish before i go to sleep.
I'm getting sick of the weather and extremely lazy here so i think I gonna move to new place, state called Sikkim real soon. Change of the athmosphere so to say. Hope the weather would be better. I'm getting moody with all this rain....... The other day at night i felt kinda sad, missing the friends i suppose, so i just took the discman with Haverim Shel Natasha and walked around deserted city. They're good, the haverim, of the best..
|Saturday, May 15th, 2004|
I made a new CD with all my picture and met a really nice guy who was born in Darjeeling but now works in Bombay, he came to visit his parents.
We went together around the town, went to Tibet Self Help center, where refugees from Tibet make handicraft and others stuff. Made really great photos there...
Later at the evening I had videoconference with Alex, one of my best friends! It was so amazing to see him live here in India! And then Michal, my other very best friend sent me her photo from her new cool mobile! It was sure a technology day.
Btw, anyone of you who has digital came is invited to send me your photos! Reduce them to 800x600 size!
|Thursday, May 13th, 2004|
|While on vacation from India I woke up in a cloud
As the subject suggests today i woke up in a cloud! The terrace next to my room was sorrounded by clouds. (See the pictures) It was very special!
After a breakfast i went to see the city. It's so different here from rest of India, it's like it's different country. Most of the people here are Nepalis and some Tibetans, totally diferent culture and looks. The people much more calmer and quiet. And it's so beautiful here, the markets, the building, the views, and the streets are the cleaniest i ever saw in India. Cafes, restaurants and bakeries are another story. Wow! Such a vareity and style! The best yet!
Later I went to see the local botanical garden, which was very lovely, you can see the views and flowers at the site.
Tomorrow I'm going to the Zoo!Click here for Darjeeling photos
|Wednesday, May 12th, 2004|
|Toy train to the cloud
At the morning I took what so called "Toy Train", it really tiny train (look at the photos), which makes the road to Darjeeling, to the height of around 2200m! Ittakes 7 hours to make distance of 90km! But what a jorney it is! Wow! It was magnificent, we were riding trough villages, forrests and clouds
. See yourself!
After arrival checked into hotel and had the best chicken chowmein i had in India!
Btw, today i spoke Hebrew for the first time in almost a month! The place is packed with Israelis!
|Monday, May 10th, 2004|
Woke up early to be ready for 11am train to Satna, but guess ... It was late by 2 hours :)
But theres more..Allahabad was so hot and humid, i think it was around 42c! I was sweating like never in my life, I was totally wet! No joke.
That's cool as long as I get place to sleep on train. But guess.. No! For this you need to know how indian system of selling train tickets works, if no accomodation (bed) is available they sell waiting list ticket, which means that if someone cancells a ticket the 1st waitning list gets his accomodation. Now it's wacation time in india so tickets are quite inpossible to obtain. I bought mine 10 days before , it was waiting list and hoped to get through, but didn't. 22 hours of travel without even place to sit! But.. I'm in India. And hospitality of Indians is totally unbelievable. Eventhough the train was packed I was offered place to sit, and at the night one nice man even gave me his bench so i could sleep, he himself slept on the same bench with his wife! Could you believe this!? And they were really nice , too bad they didn't speak much English.
Travelling in Indian trains is experience by itself. The trains are so amazingly crowded, people are everywhere, sleeping on the floor, near the doors, naked children running all over, mothers breasfeed their babies. Sometimes it really too much, luckily i have diskman to disconnect from all this.
But after all, 4 hours late I arrived to New Jalpalguiri, rented a room, had a good dinner and went to sleep.
|Sunday, May 9th, 2004|
|Kama Sutra in stone!
Today I went to see the major attraction of Kajuraho- The erotic temples. What can I say. The knew how to have fun. You can look yourself at my photos page.
At the noon I took train back to Satna in order to take tomorrow train to Allahabad (3h) and then overnight to New Jalpaiguri, from which I'll go to Darjeeling.
The bus was total wreck (see pic at Kanha album) and road was pretty nonexisten so it was rough.Kajuraho photosPS
For those who wonder if i ever change the shirt (i had such questin by e-mail). Not really. When it gets dirty I wash it the same day so the next day I'm in the same shirt.
|Thursday, May 6th, 2004|
Today i arrived on bus to Kajuraho. It's really nice to be in touristy place , see alot of tourists that can I can talk with and they understand me, unlike most of the places I've been to in the past month. Not much action today. More updates will be soon.
BTW!!! I updated my photo album yesterday, alot of new photos! Take a look and don't forget to leave me a comment!
ALSO: Happy birthday goes to my dad and beloved cousin Alina!
|Tuesday, May 4th, 2004|
|Kanha Park & cultural differences
For past 2 days (2-4/5) I've been to Kanha national park. There are around 120 tigers there and I hoped to see at least one.
The bus drive to the park was really ruff. The bus was awful, really dying type, the road bus bumpy as hell. It should've taken 6 hours to make 180 KM (30km/h!) but, it's India and nothing's in time. On the way we had puncture, which is hardly surprise when you see the condition of the tyres. After 2 hours we were on the road again to be stopped after 30 minutes by ticket controller for additional half hour. After about 8+ hours we were there. What i tried to say is that it's hell to move from place to another, whether it's on on train or bus. You can't imagine the condition of the buses, trains, roads and amount of people that are stuffed inside!
But enough complaining.
At the next morning i woke up at 5am in hope to find myself a jeep that i can share with other people, found it quite quickly and we went for a ride in the park. It was really beautiful, a lot of trees, like real jungle and many animals, but no tiger. I also took a ride at the evening, but didn't have much luck with tigers this time too. I met a really nice indian guy though. He came with his uncle and little cousin. He knew english really good and was really smart. For a change, I was able to have a really deep conversation with indian . He explained me alot about tigers and we had really nice time together.
The next day i preffered to sleep a little more and save some money (it's bit expensive with those "special", 10 times more expensive prices for foreigners) but Meet (the guy's name) went for another safari ride and had luck to spot 2 tigers!! It's really rare! He really had luck!
Afternoon we took a bus back to city called Jabalpur. And at the night we went to cinema to see some Indian comedy. I didn't understand anything, no subtitles, but Meet tried his best to explain me what the movie was about. It was about 3 friends that got tired of their wives and wanted an affair. After an hour (the movie was 3 hours total, we went out after 1.5hours) we found ourselves talking about life more than seeing the movie. He was really surprised that i can meet with girls and go out together and even bring her home and she can stay overnight without marriage. For him it was unthinkable, Indians can't really meet with a girl before marriage, they can go out out , in groups but never alone. If they want to get closer they need to make special arrangments with their parents, and practically get married. We both were shocked... What so called CULTURAL DIFFERENCES.....
The next morning we woke up really eaarly again, 5:40 and went to see places called marbel rocks. Really beatiful place with waterfall, and river with huge marbel rocks on both banks.
Later I took another awful train to city called Satna, from which I'm going to take a bus to Kajuraho the next morning.
|Saturday, May 1st, 2004|
Today I took train from Pachmarhi to Jabalpur. Staying overnight in this city and tomorrow morning taking bus to Kanha National Park, to see tigers, leopards and other cool animals.
For your information, this park was Kipling's inspiration for "Jungle Book" he wrote!!!
The train ride was awful (as usual) , late by 1.5 hours (as usual).. but about this other day, the internet place is going to be closed and they're throwing me out:)
|Thursday, April 29th, 2004|
I'm now in the most beautiful and magical place in india IMHO yet- Pachmarhi. It's a small town on a mountain, 1200m above the sea (so it bit cooler than at plains), there's alot of nature- everything's green, alot of water streams, little natural places where it's possible to swim, many waterfalls and forests all around. Simply amazing. I'm staying here for 10 days already and it says alot- usually i move after 4 days.
You may wonder what i'm doing all those days.. Well.. I wake up at around 9, go to restaurant for a breakfast, after make myself black coffee (that i brought from israel, no real coffee in india), then take my rented bycicle and go to nature, every day different trek, but always with water to swim and cool down, after hours of chilling i'm on bycicle again for more riding around the place, and watching beautiful sunset. Then restaurant again, dinner, then chiling again, and then , at 10pm there are FRIENDS on TV! So i'm having the best of all the worlds, India , nature, food, sports and even TV!The only downside (or maybe a plus) is that there are no western tourists! None! Except for the first 3 days that I've been hanging around with a guy from Switzerland I'm quite alone. But it's OK. The nature makes up for it. And it nice to be alone with myself sometimes. ANother problem is that i don't have any book to read, i brough "Mishehu Larutz Ito" from Israel, but i finished it now, and there's inpossible to buy any english books in Pachmari.
The other day I had special, but quite awful experience, i went to see a very beautiful place - huge ravine (canyon) and about 10 minutes after i got there it started raining. Boy, I never saw so much rain in my life!! It was pouring! And then little ice (sorry.. forgot the word.. if you know leave comment! In hebrew it's "barad" in russian it's "grad") started to fall. And then some more rain! And after a while it started to calm down and i thought that's it, but no- it continued! Suddenly, after thinking that i'm not going to make it and I'm going to freeze to death it stoped! After 3 or 4 rounds of rain and ice, after standing wet for fucking 40 minutes!!! I was all wet! Including underwear! Shaking from cold. Luckily my camera and diskman were OK. I took my bicycle and sped to hotel. On the way I had some chai (indian tea) for heating :)
Some days ago ago i discovered the beautiful thing, riding the bycicle and listening to diskman!
My soundtrack included:
Air (best as usual)
Moby - "18" - magical RECOMENDED!! "Play is good too.
Rolling Stones - suprisingly good for cycling
And some more....
Last thing! My mobile phone, Siemens S55 is for sale!(it's in Israel) It's new condition. If you're interested , let me know!
|Sunday, April 18th, 2004|
|Ujjain- Kumbh Mela and more
For past 4 days I've been in Ujjain, the city of Kumb-Mela festival. This festival takes place once in 12 years in 4 locations in india (ie every 3 years in different city).
You can't even imagine what's going on at this festival. During 1 month of the festival *millions* of people from all over india come to Ujain to bathe in the holy river. There are people everywhere! All kinds and colors! There's huge camp city beside the river where most of the action takes place, there's even 2 small luna parks and a circus built especially for the festival!!!
And the main attraction are the sadhus, the holi men (like gurus i suppose). They look so amazingly weird, the dresses, the looks, the hair (meters long!), some of them walk totally naked , only covered with ashes from the holy fires! And all of them,smoke bangs, supposedly it is like worshiping the gods, they like the smoke:) Just look at the pictures (when i finnally upload them).
So as i said , the place is totally unbelievable! Every day is a new experience but after 4 days i had enough of it, I just needed quiet and peaceful place so I took evening train (which supposed to arrive at 2am) to Pachmari, with should be a peaceful , quiet hill station (town located on hill).
That's all about Ujain, write you soon about Pachmari
1. Ujjain is not touristy place and i had luck to run out of toilet paper there. ANd there's impossible to buy it here! Nada! Nowhere. So i tried the indian way (with hand and water). Suprise , suprise. It works! Works good. Now i feel like indian :)
2. One of the most annoying things about India is that at some places people are not used to see tourists on the streets so when they see one they approach him and ask many meaningless questions, like what's your name, where from, if i'm married or not. I had it really bad in Ujjain, where there are so many people, I was asked for name, origin , etc TENS times a day, and IT IS FUCKING ANNOYING! At some point i just ignored them, it's not nice bun i'm not going to tell billion indians my name! What I realized later is that some girls are going through this every day for years (or till they're still young:)- all the guys that try to start with them in very annoying ways. Hmm.. Girls, now i kinda understand you. Condolences. :)
AS USUAL, comments and e-mails are highly appreciated!! Don't forget to write your name!
|Tuesday, April 13th, 2004|
Orchha is indeed beautiful place (Thanks go to Ruth And Mark, the giy's i've been travelly with for quite a while..)
It's really heaven on earth (If it wasn't hot like hell). There many beautiful palaces and temples with beautiful views. Went there twice, the second day i felt bit down so i took diskman with Pink Floyd CD and listened to Dark Side and Wish You Were Here in the palace. It is THE place for Pink Floyd. Gives new dimension to the music!
Nearby there's beautiful river, with alot of green trees (Good change from Rajasthan desert). I walked on the stones to the middle of it, found a nice quiet spot and just relished it. The sound of water and singing of birds. Beautiful.
I've been swimming almost every day there. Good way to cool things down (it's 40+c here!!).
Today I'm moving to Ujjain, for the Kumbh-Mela
|Thursday, April 8th, 2004|
|Agra and Taj Mahal
Visited Taj Mahal today.. At the beginning i went to see it from outside, to check if it's worth the money-the entrance fee for foreighners is EXTREMELY expensive! It costs 750rupees (75 sheks) with in India are alot of money. I can live for 2 days on that money.
At the end i decided to go, after all i'm already near it and to go to india and not to see Taj Mahal... Is like going to Israel and not visiting Haifa :) j/k.
What can i saw. It's beutiful, it's AWEsome. It's tottally and utterly perfect, symetrical and simply engenious. BUT, it definately not worth the money and very overhyped. I mean, after all it's just building, and there's nothing much to see other than just to stare at it. (I stared for 2 hours and that was enough). There are more beautiful and enjoyable places in India. And there're so many tourists there.. Never saw so many tourst in one place. I guess it's a good place for organised tourist who come to india and visit all major landmarks in 2 weeks. Don't experience India at all though. Don't smell it, feel it and dine it. Just move from place to place in air conditioned busses, dressed funny (like proper tourists:) . I feel so lucky to have the time and will to travel by my own and in my own pace, without guide to say when i need to leave and go.
That's all for agra, In general Agra is really shitty and air polluted city. I'm taking train this evening for Jhansi, which is really close to Orchha, with supposed to be really nice place.
|Wednesday, April 7th, 2004|
The train ride was ok. I slept surprisingly well, woke up only a couple of time, the train even arrived on time!
I even managed to get a shower (yes, shower) on the train station- there's a room with showers for the passangers! After the shower i left my bags in luggage room and went to explore the city.
The city is suprisingly interesting and not that air polluted. Jaipur wasn't in my plans at the beginning (b/c of the mild review in lonely planet) but I decided to go there because it's on my way to Agra anyway.
After alot of sightseeing (photos coming soon) had (another) chawmein (chineese vegetable noodles) - I'm getting really sick of this spicy hot indian food. For those who claim that i need to love indian food if i'm in india (hi Ralf)- NO I'M NOT! I didn't come here for food and why not enjoy something i like while i can.
That's all for now, I'm leaving to the railway station, another night on a train. It was nice to kill some time on the internet till 11pm.Talk to you. Talk to me too (by comments with NAMES!)
|Tuesday, April 6th, 2004|
|Rat temple...and thanks!
1. Thanks for all the comments! It's really nice to see that i have an audence :). That i'm the only one that reads it. Keep making comments, ask questions, tell how much you miss and love me, etc, etc....:) BUT please don't forget to write the names!!
2. What do you think about my beard (you can see it at my photos page, Jaisalmer album)-
c.Make it shorter
3. I got 77 on literature (sifrut) bagrut..
Thanks in advance :)
NOW TO THE REAL THING! (Please notice the size of it. Thanks to those who commented!)
After going for some internet and returning my rented bycicle i took local bus to place called Deshnoke Temple - A.K.A. as the rat temple: "the most attractive feature of temple are the rodents (RATS) who scamper freely within the premises and if one touches your feet its considered auspicious. They are regarded sacred and devotees buy prasad (feeding) to offer to them.
Wow! That was bizzare experience! (Photos will be added soon) It was really uneasy to see all those rats run all over the place. Never saw so many rats in my life. I've been standing for like 5-10 minutes motionesless, amazed of the sight!
On the way back i took another bus back to Bikaner. The bus was full and the driver offered me seat just behind him. As usual all the passangers were starring at me. But that's OK, I got used to this. I stare at them myself many times.
Today's my last day in Bikaner, yesterday i bought train tickets to Jaipur for tonight, and from Jaipur to Agra (Taj Mahal) for the next night. So it happens that i sleep 2 nights in row in trains. Hope i'd be able to manage it.
|Monday, April 5th, 2004|
1. I've been Jaisalmer after Jodhpur and now I'm in Bikaner, going to Jaipur tomorrow, and then Agra to see Taj Mahal.
2. Added some photos to Udaipur and Jodhpur albums and created all new JAISALMER.
3. It's frustrating not to get e-mails from you se please please at least leave comment with your name and something short on this message.
4. I updated some of the events.. More will be added soon. If you write e-mails or comment :)
Write more later. GTG!
|Sunday, March 28th, 2004|
|Last day in Jodhpur
At the morning I went to fort again, with Anna, Yulia (german girls) and 2 other guys. (Look the photos). Later we split, they went to museum and I wen to city. I've been to the market. It's amazing! It's possible to find everything there! EVERYTHING. From spare parts for everything-fans, motors,broken tvs and such to saris, clothes and vegetables. Really everything. I found a quiet roof from with it's possible to oversee the market. It was amazing to see all the hussle from away!
Later, I bumped into the guys again (Actually they saw me and called me- I was standing still, hypnotyzed by all the activity on the market)
At the night i took train to Jaisalmer. It's my FIRST train ride in india. It was weird but nice. I managed to sleep very well even! But about it later...